The first record of a "hell" (jigoku) was in 733. The raging "hell" was calmed down and turned into the steam baths of Kannawa (Beppu) by monk Shonin Ippen when he visited Beppu on his prayer pilgrimage around Japan in 1276. The first one on record was Umi-Jigoku (Sea Hell), and during the Meiji Period, it saw around 3,000 annual visitors. On 1910, Umi-Jigoku was first used for tourism. Over the next couple of years, a couple more were born, and these are currently marketed as the "Seven Hells of Beppu" (source: pictures at Umi-Jigoku during my visit)
Budget: JPY1,200 (~USD12)
- JPY400. Entry to one hell.
- JPY2,000 for a pass to enter all hells.
- JPY800. Bus, Hostel < > Hell locations (JPY400 ish one way)
- December 27, 2020.
- I have done this visit as part of a week long Kyushu hikes.
Anytime during the year. Take note of the opening/closing times (8am to 5pm).
- There are seven of them, with the descriptions provided by Japan Guide.
- I personally had no desire to go to the crowded viewing spots given that the onsens / hells / jigoku are mainly for viewing, so I just decided to go to the main one - Umi-Jigoku.
- A better experience as far as I'm concerned is eating onsen-steamed meals.
- I paid JPY1,500 for the pizza and JPY150 for an egg. They steam it, which makes it a rather unique experience.
- I ate at Chinetsu Kanko Labo Enma (google maps pin), though this seems to be more famous. Looking at the menu though, I wanted to try the pizza while soaking my feet in onsen so I went the other way.
- No itinerary really, as I just took a bus and walked around, but here's the pictures during my visit.
|The entrance to the restaurant has plenty of steam. To be fair, the entire area has steam coming all over the place.|
|The urn where they cook meals.|
|I got to place the cover and put the pizza in (part of the experience package)|
|The tables with foot onsens!|
|Here's me soaking my feet.|
|Onsen egg! Tasted a bit like penoy (Filipino egg)|
|Steamed pizza! It was a very, very, unique experience haha.|
|After eating I went around the main hells / jigoku. They all have their share of crowds.|
|And pretty easy to spot as they all have a more-than-normal steam.|
|Almost at Umi-jigoku! Saw this rather cute demon-bus. Seriously, why does Japan seem to think that demons are cute???|
|Entering the Umi-Jigoku. I made sure they charge me for just ONE hell, as opposed to the JPY2,000 package.|
|I can barely see the blue water!|
|Even went up the second floor, but still no luck!|
|The red pond. Not as impressive.|
|Onsen-heated greenhouse, supposedly with lily pads that can accommodate one Japanese-sized human. Didn't see any leaf bigger than what you see in the picture though.|
|They also have a foot onsen in the area. With... grapefruit???|